Kellock was a founding member of the music group Ensemble X

This story was written by Ithaca Voice intern Robyn Schmitz

Ithaca, NY — Cornell has announced the death of Judith Kellock, an internationally known soprano and professor of performance in the Department of Music. She died on March 27 at the age of 64.


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Judith Kellock

Kellock joined the Cornell music faculty in 1991, teaching vocal performance and participating in various recitals and concerts. She held a master of music degree from Boston University, participated in major operas in Italy and Greece and toured with the Opera Company of Boston.

According to a statement from Cornell, the interim chair of the Department of Music, Roberto Sierra, said, “She was a beloved teacher and colleague, and her artistry graced our stages for over two decades.”

The Cornell statement also quoted pianist and professor of performance Xak Bjerken.

“[Kellock’s] singing was emotionally committed and expressive, and she was beloved by her students and by her many friends here in Ithaca and afar. Those who knew her and worked with her are left heartbroken,” Bjerken said.

Some more information from her bio page:

Soprano Judith Kellock has been described in the press as “a singer of rare intelligence and vocal splendor, with a voice of indescribable beauty.”  A primary influence in her musical life was the late Jan DeGaetani, with whom she studied for many years.  Other teachers have included Grace Hunter, Hazel O’Donnell, Phyllis Curtin at Tanglewood, and Wilma Thompson at Boston University.

Kellock was a founding member of the music group Ensemble X

Ms. Kellock has been featured with the St. Louis Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the New World Symphony, theHonolulu Symphony, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, the Greek Radio Orchestra, the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, the West Virginia Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Green Umbrella Series, and orchestras throughout New England. 

At the Aspen Festival she has been soloist with the Symphony Orchestra as well as in chamber music and oratorio. Other festival performances include Monadnock, Arcady Stockbridge Chamber Concerts, the Music Festival of the Hamptons, and songFest, a performance and training program in southern California.  Highly acclaimed for her song recitals and chamber music performances, she is also sought after by composers for her interpretation of contemporary music.

She is a founding member of the new music group Ensemble X, whose music director is composer Steven Stucky.  Ms. Kellock’s residency in Prague included recitals of German Lieder and American art song with pianist Phillip Moll, as well as master classes and lectures at the Prague Conservatory. As a recipient of a National Endowment of the Arts recitalist fellowship, she toured the West Coast with a variety of programs.

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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.